By Scarface and The Taxi-Driver
The concept of Ramadan is said to be a test of the limits of human willpower, of abstinence. We must resist our temptations to appease God, stay strong in the face of our own weakness. And we must control ourselves from our emotions, specially the prickly, cranky rage that comes from the body lacking food.
This past month has been an extremely trying month for us, and not just because we were fasting. Ramadan is usually a fun-filled, hectic affair, which rushes by in a tumult of street iftar with friends, crowded shopping centres and endless jams. But the last few days were thoroughly depressing. Things have been going wrong and falling apart all around us.
Road to Destruction
It took a series of accidents and the lives of two extremely talented people for everyone to actually wake up and take proper notice of the state of the roads. With most of the highways broken up, cracked and sporting major potholes, going to the village for Eid suddenly sounds like a very scary idea. Eid has always been a period of time scarred by road accidents. But experts fear that this Eid will be a lot worse. Railway tickets are, as usual, nearly impossible to acquire unless you are sleeping nights at Kamalapur, holding your spot in the line.
To top it all off, the ministers in charge of communications and shipping have both proved incompetent and made comments that made their own party speak out against them. One says he doesn't have money for road repairs. That's your job, dolt, to find the money. Otherwise, why are you in the office? The other genius said, there's no need to pass a test to get your license. Yes, that's very smart. And reassuring, coming from the guy whose job it is to make sure the people driving the public transport actually know how to drive.
And The Buying Spree
Hey, we can always buy clothes and shiny, pretty things to make ourselves feel a little better, right, despite everything? Imagine the smile on your Mom's face when she sees the sari you bought her with your own earnings, or how your girlfriend will look in that cute little shalwar kameez. Makes you feel happy. Well, forget it, because prices of clothes are sky high. You want something good, you better be packing some serious cash. That is, of course, if you reach the shops through the traffic which has really hit some kind of new highscore. And after all of that, when you are done buying the ridiculously expensive and unbelievably mediocre clothes, you walk out of the shopping mall to find cars standing still in the pouring, soaking rain.
Rain, Rain, Go Away
Speaking of depression, the emotion even got to the Bay of Bengal. The monsoon, bringing floods in its wake, is coming down hard. Not only are people catching diseases left and right, it's also resulted in breaking down roads all over the country. Our thoughtful ministers thought this the best time to dig up every last available space to enhance the drainage system. By the time the work is done, the rains will have stopped. Pointless exercise, isn't it? The constant drizzle also prevented many from going shopping for long periods of time. Car modifiers have also bemoaned the fact that it keeps raining. All the boys who took Eid as the best day to bring out their modified cars and have major accidents, have now switched their attentions to boats. So now, boats are being modified. No Fear stickers and all. These boys are a little concerned because they can't find howlers for their boats and nor can they afford a yacht. Plus, a boat accident just isn't fun enough.
The Feeding Frenzy
If you thought that pair of jeans was expensive, wait till you hear how much this burger costs. Spiralling food prices was also the mantra of the past month. Now that apparently every last vegetable and fruit went under water, prices have skyrocketed further. Sellers would also have you believe that half of the cow population floated away to India or someplace. Hence, beef prices also increased. What this means is that for the whole duration of Ramadan, we had no choice but to fast, because food was much too expensive. It was either pay the rent or go grocery shopping. Our wise minister (yeah, there are quite a few in this article) asked us to stop being gluttons and consume less. It's not like we had a choice, but it was still a ridiculous idea. Because, what we didn't eat, someone else surely would have. And with so little to go around, despite fasting for so long, we knew that a dip in our consumption wouldn't help much anyway. Biriani shops soon replaced gold shops.
This needs little explanation. At a time when the people of Bangladesh tried to forget their worries by looking over to Harare, they got a nasty shock. The defeats came hard on the heels of misbegotten arrogance and Bangladesh crashed and burned in the Tests and the first two one-dayers. In the third, Mushfiqur Rahim looked ready to win the match all by himself. Fighting against two opponents, the opposing Zimbabwe and the crumbling tail-end of his own team, Mushfiqur dragged Bangladesh to the brink of victory in the fading light, reaching his own maiden hundred in the process. But as he fell, trying to finish the game on his terms, the sun set at Harare.
An uncelebrated maiden century, an uncollected man-of-the-match award. What should've been the best day of the young man's career, saw him breaking down in the dressing room.
And that lit the fire in our hearts.
Despite the numerous problems plaguing the last month, we have fought against them. And maybe, just maybe, we can have a little breather; a little pocket of peace. We can now finally let rip with a Hurray. Eid is just around the corner. And on this holy day, we shall wear our cheap but new clothes, pray for better months ahead and pig out without a worry in the world because there are so many relatives cooking for us. The roads will be a lot emptier, the pockets a little fatter (thank you Salami/Bonus) and our hearts just a bit happier. All that's remaining is a little sunshine and then Eid can be just perfect. Thank God for Eid.